X-Wing Miniatures Wave Three Preview

A couple of weeks ago Fantasy Flight Games announced their third wave of ships for the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game.  A couple of these I expected but the other two I was a little surprised by. 

First off, we round out the original trilogy fighters with the B-Wing and the Tie Bomber.  Both of these are the biggest fighters each side sports and it looks like each comes with a variety of support weapons.  The Tie Bomber looks pretty versatile with both a two firepower and two maneuver and can take some serious damage with six hull.  The B-Wing isn’t very maneurvable but packs a three firepower and can take even more damage with three hull and an impressive five shield.

The other two ships were a little surprising.  There’s the Lambda-Class Shuttle (which I didn’t even know had weapons) and the HWK-290 (which I don’t know too much about) both of which are being billed as support ships.  The Shuttle packs some serious firepower and can take a ton of damage (the same as the Slave-1 if memory serves me).  I don’t know much about the HWK-290 other than it was Kyle Katarn’s ship.  It’s a lighter ship without much firepower but from what I could make out, some of the abilities are interesting (like Kyle Katarn, who can pass on a focus token to someone else).

If you want the run down, here’s the release from Fantasy Flight.  To date, we have all of the expansions except for the Tie Interceptor and the A-Wing.  Those two ran out quick but I checked the calendar and they’re coming out with more soon.  We’ve done one battle with the Millenium Falcon but haven’t used the Slave-1 yet.  If you’re buying, make sure you buy more Tie Fighters.  The Imperial ships in just about every category are lighter than the Rebels so you almost always need more. Just to match up, I needed two Tie Fighters and a Tie Advanced to take on the Falcon and still lost pretty handily.

And one last thing, a future product is the Starfield Game Tile Kit so if you’re sick of playing on a blank table, you’re going to like this.

First Look – War of the Ring

It’s my son’s birthday which means more games.  The big game I picked up for him this year was War of The Ring 2nd Edition and I had a chance to flip through the rules last night and here are my initial thoughts.

The rule book is pretty thick but it’s not too crazy because there are a lot of pictures and examples.  It’s put together well and the game looks like a lot of fun.  You have the army aspect to the game but then each side has characters (or for the Dark Lord, minions) that also add an extra element to the game.  Sauron’s side has a lot of military might but the good guys have the Ring-Bearer and the fellowship to even things out.

The game is driven by action dice.  Each turn, the players roll their dice to see which actions they can take.  Sauron can allocate dice before rolling to looking for the ring.  Then within each roll, the player have a choice or three to do.  For example if you roll the “army action” you can either move two armies, attack with one, or use a military oriented card.

Speaking of cards, they play a big role as well.  You can use them to bring in reinforcements, help you in battles or use them to activate nations to help in your war effort.  There’s also a very light diplomatic angle to the game as well because not all armies are willing to fight for your cause right off the bat.

One of the knocks of the game is that there’s too much randomness.  Combat is random (determined by dice) and even which actions you can take are random based on the roll at the beginning of the turn.  I’m curious to see how that plays out because on the one side, I can see a person getting good roles early having a distince advantage but on the other hand, it also lends itself to more replayability.

The game looks fun.  In fact if we have a rainy day this summer, my son wants to have a Lord of the Rings day where we play Middle Earth Quest which leads into the events of Lord of the Rings then play War of the Ring to play out what actually happened during the books.  Look for more on this game soon as we get into the game more.

Lord of the Rings The Confrontation Returns

I was pleased to see that Fantasy Flight games is reintroducing an older classic. Lord Of The Rings The Confrontation has been out of print for some time and my son and I started playing the original version of this game.  It’s a two player game with one side being the heros and the other side taking on the minions of the Dark Lord.  The game is quick to set up, easy to play, but the rules are just tricky enough to where there is a ton of replayability.  The heros can win by getting Frodo to Mordor while Sauron’s side can win by taking out Frodo.  There are a couple of terrain rules and the primary rule is most pieces have to be moved forward (no backwards movement unless that character has it as part of their special ability).

This game has been described as Stratego like but it’s a much deeper game than that.  Each token (each side has nine pieces) is unique with each character having their own special ability.  When combat occurs, each side also uses a card from their deck to boost up or give that character a special ability and this is where the strategy and counter strategy really comes into play.  When we got it last summer, we played it quite a bit and then for Christmas, I picked up Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation Deluxe Edition which gives you more character types and a few more special ability cards.  I actually preferred the base game better but it was fun to mix it up.  My son was particularly enamored with the newer Frodo card, which allowed Frodo to give the Ring to Sam.

With my son, he picked up this game and it was a treat seeing him bluff me and outthink me with his combat cards.  For a while it was all we’re playing but since then it’s been replaced but it’s still a great game.

This new version that Fantasy Flight is putting out looks like it includes everything that was in the Deluxe edition.  It’s coming in at a really good price point (I paid more than twice that for my Deluxe edition) so when this comes out, I highly recommend you pick it up.

Paths of Glory – A First Look

Yesterday a friend and I played GMT Games’ card driven game on World War I, Paths of Glory.  This was a welcome change because I finally got to go up against someone other than my son and it let us play a game that was a little deeper.  I’m a big fan of Twilight Struggle and Paths of Glory had been on my short list of games to try that had been sitting on my shelf.

I went through the rules and most of it made sense although I did get hung up on a few things.  You have a few more options with your cards than you do with Twilight Struggle and the other thing that’s different is each side gets their own deck that’s split into three phases.  When you move on to the next phase, you get to add more cards to your deck and at times, you can have one player with the more advanced cards while the other player is stuck trying to move up.

Neither one of us had played before so we did sort of stumble along.  Most of the early action took place on the East Front with Warsaw being a pivotal point.  It seems like every time my opponent (who played the Central Powers) was close to taking it, I’d reinforce it enough to hold on.  There were a couple of turns (which in most cases represent a three month period of time) where things were literally “All Quiet on the West Front” as neither one of us seemed to want to risk messing around with the larger forces on that side of the map.

Another interesting aspect is each side is given a mandatory offensive each turn and this was what caused me to finally open up things on the Western Front.  By the time we finally called it a night, the Central Powers had finally taken Warsaw, but things looked grim for them on the Western Front.  We called it a draw and while I think I would have won had we played it out, there were a few things on the map I was worried about.

There’s also a Near East section of the map but not a lot happened down there.  This is also a subject of it’s own game, which is basically the sequel to Paths of Glory. Pursuit of Glory focuses and expands on that section of the world during WWI and would be interested in getting that game to try.

Other than the game being really long (we got a late start) it was a lot of fun and education to boot.  The box says it has good solitaire suitability but I don’t really see it.  Guess I will just have to try it out and see.  What’s your favorite card driven game that’s out there?  I’m curious to know.

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Lincoln’s War Kickstarter

With only seven days left, Multi-Man Publishings’ Kickstarter experiment will come to an end and as it stands, Lincoln’s War still needs around $2,500 to hit it’s goal to be produced.  I’ve been on the fence with this and for moment, am not going pony up even though it looks like a great game.  Money is tight and I’m limited myself to games I will be able to play with my son for the time being.

I like the fact that it’s card driven as those tend to play great.  I’ve been itching to play Twilight Struggle again.  It’s been a couple of years since I broke that one out.  It’s been even longer since I’ve played Hannibal Rome vs Carthage.

Board Game Blog Hiatus

Thanks everyone for stopping by but I’m a brief hiatus.  I’m still getting in a game now and then with my son (played Harry Potter Hogwarts House Cup Challenge last night and got smoked and I will get in a game of Middle Earth Quest once in a while) but I’m a CPA so this is my busy time of year.  Look for new content (maybe videos?) after April 15.

Advanced Squad Leader – Initial Thoughts

I’ve been into boardgaming for 30 years and I’ve never seen a game with depth of Advanced Squad Leader.  This was originally published by Avalon Hill and is now handled by Multi-Man Publishing, although there are several third party companies that also support the game.

One of my goals over the years is to learn this game but the rule book is pretty intimidating.  On a good note, there are plenty of resources out there to help me along way and there’s even a podcast, the 2 Half Squads, that’s great to listen to.  In a couple of months, I’m going to start with Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1, which is a scaled down version of the game that teaches you things in bite size chunks.  Along the way I’ll document my journey so if you have any tips or comments, feel free to leave comments along the way.

Top of the List

If you’re into board games, you know about Board Game Geek.  This one stop spot for everything board games is a fantastic resource and the only reason I don’t go there more is because I simply get lost and end up spending way too much time just poking around.  One of the cool things about the site is their “Hotness” list and the last time I went there, the top game was Chainmail by Worthington Games.  I’m a big fan of the designer, Richard Berg, and I love card driven games and while this game wasn’t quite on my radar, the price has come down quite a bit and it looks like a fun game for a great price.

Housekeeping

We’re a few months into this “project” and I hope you like the content so far.  I know things got a little light around the holidays but now we’re back up and going.  I know I promised you some Memoir ’44 content but my blogger has had to deal with some personal stuff and he hasn’t been able to kick things off like he thought.  For now, unless I get more feedback, I’ll be doing more of the same and I have few things planned (namely some reviews of older games).

A few people have asked me how they can help out and there’s a few ways.  The most important is to give feedback.  I’d love more comments and a discussion or two would really be fun.  The other way to help me is, if you buy stuff from Amazon.com, you’ll see links scattered throughout my blog posts.  If you click through one of those and make your purchase, I get a small commission.

Also, if you have a game you want advertised, just let me know.  Or if you’re doing a kickstarter campaign for a game, I’d love to give you some free publicity for your upcoming title.